By one key measure, the average weekly wage for U.S. workers, adjusted for inflation, is less than 50 years ago.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, made the claim during a Sept. 22, 2023, speech in Madison.
His staff cited U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data reported by the Federal Reserve Bank for private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees.
That group includes workers who produce goods or provide services; it includes occupations such as doctors and lawyers.
The group’s average weekly earnings were $823 in August 2023, according to the latest monthly data.
That’s $31 lower than the inflation-adjusted $854 in August 1973, 50 years earlier.
The August 2023 amount is $149 higher than the $674 in August 1993, 30 years earlier.
The earnings generally trended downward from 1973 until the mid-1990s, a period that included high inflation.
Then earnings trended upward, peaking at $862 in May 2020. Since then they have declined.
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The Capital Times: One-on-one with Bernie Sanders
FRED (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis): Average Weekly Earnings of Production and Nonsupervisory Employees